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Working with Bedford Falls Publications

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Meet The Authors
CLICK ON ANY AUTHOR'S IMAGE OR NAME TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THEM 

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Geoff Higginbottom  (Biog to follow)
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GEROFF THE GOBSHITE

Geoff's epic saga tells the seemingly endless tale of Geroff as he travels through history and the world seeking the solution to all mankind's problems.

In 8 volumes, the story unfolds with biblical proportions and in a blatantly biblical style as Geroff and his motley crew of associates wander like the lost tribe through the pages of history both factual and farcical.

You will be amazed!

MANKIND VIRUS

Why is our world in such a mess? There is only one species on the planet that can take the blame, ironically the only one that can read these words.

 

Every problem that the world faces today can be laid firmly at the door of mankind. 

 

Our oceans are used as dustbins for everything that mankind has used and then thrown away. The very air that mankind relies on for its survival is poisoned as it seeks an ever more luxurious lifestyle. The greed of the few is making our planet uninhabitable whilst the many starve.

 

As the world teeters on the brink of destruction it may prove impossible to turn back the clock, but if such a procedure were feasible it would be necessary to examine where things went wrong in the first place...

TOMOS THE DREAMER

Throughout the course of history, a large number of societies have been invaded from outside and enslaved by their new masters. The reasons for such invasions are many and varied but are almost always built on greed.

This is the story, set far into the future, of one such Messiah whose advent is foreseen and documented within the ancient writings of his ancestors. It is also the story of a man who dedicates his life to seeking out the chosen one.

This is the story of Tomos the Dreamer.

FINDING EDWIN - AN EXPLORER'S TALE

In contrasting style Geoff recounts the story of his ancestor Edwin Higginbottom. Edwin's diaries were sent to his family in England after his death in Gondokoro, Southern Sudan.

At the time of his death he was the engineer to Sir Samuel White Baker who was working to eradicate the slave trade on the Nile River.

The aim of the book is to bring Edwin's story to a wider audience in recognition of the huge contribution he made to Baker's expedition.

N. B. This title was not published by Bedford Falls Publications.

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Rev David Gray (David Seagray) 

David Seagray is the pen name of Tau Interfaith Franciscan Rev. David Gray.

He and his wife Elaine have several children and grandchildren and live in Sally-Manc land, as David likes to call the kissing cousin cities of Manchester and Salford where he lives and works when not in his spiritual home of Alba, also known as Caledonia – the land to the north that Sassenachs call Scotland. 

His other works include poetry and song lyrics for various bands and artists – he has appeared with several bands and is known as the Punk Monk on the Sally-Manc music scene. David is also, under his own name, the author of “The Great Apes of Belle Vue”, which outlines his experience of communication with great apes and is available online and in the shop at St. Francis monastery in Gorton, which he helped to restore after years of dereliction.

As David Seagray, he has also written the young adult “Pen and Moke” grimoire novel “All Hallowed”, about a young witch who helps unite the creatures, the living and the dead to fight corporate greed and global warming. Further books in the Pen and Moke series are underway. 

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AGATHA CHRISTMAS

Our human stories need to be told. Like songs and poetry, they long to emerge from the collective subconsciousness of our species through the conduit of storytellers, poets and songwriters in every age; perhaps in every solar system. Sometimes, they find themselves coming to life in hedgerows, on mountaintops, in woodland glades or under the ocean. On other occasions, the wordsmith might find a story reaching out to them from under the soap in the shower one morning. 

 

The title story in this anthology is real and can now be told due to the passage of time. The rest of the stories, however, have come to me from a loom on which tales are woven in the present from threads that were formed in the before and after. 

 

 The stories are offered in the hope that something in at least one of them will resonate with your, the reader’s, own insights.

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Michelle Cantliff (Biog to follow)

Known around Salford as The Smokeytop Poet - a name given to her by MicK Coleman, who wrote Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs - Michelle performs her poems in a wide variety of locations and settings, including on her own radio show on Salford City Radio.

In this anthology she brings together a selection of themes from her own childhood and her observations of people, places and life in general.

Scenes from Smokeytop Salford in Verse

My little book of poetry tells the story of life as it was lived by the people of Salford from Victorian times to the swinging 60s.

Millwork, docks, markets and corner shops made up their world, which was peopled by the rag-and-bone men, the knocker uppers, the bobby on the beat and women struggling to bring up their myriad children amidst the cobbled streets and terraced houses.

The hard-working men, who frequented the pubs, often leaving their wives and children with nowt to eat and barely enough to pay the rent. The shadow of the workhouse or destitution hanging over them all.

I pay tribute to the women who loved and lost their menfolk in two World Wars, but who stoically refused to give in, and with the aid of carbolic soap and donkey stones worked hard every day to keep Smokeytop Salford clean at a time when there was no NHS to fall back on.

Michelle Cantliff

Smokeytop Poetry Volume 2

This is the eagerly -awaited second volume of verse from 'The Smokeytop Poet' Michelle Cantliff.

In it she delves deeper into her Salford childhood as well as reflecting on modern day issues and events.

Poems cover such topics as L. S. Lowry, Grandma's Ghost, King Charles III, Sweaty Cheese, Guilty Pleasures and the mysteriously-titled 'The Stiff'.

Fans of Michelle's work will be delighted by over fifty new offerings all in her own inimitable style.

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Hugh Sandy Cameron

Hugh Sandy Cameron started writing poetry during Covid Lockdown. He set himself a target of a poem a day and he hasn't stopped since. Hugh lives on The Wirral and shares his poetry at spoken word events around the northwest. This is his first book.

When asked for a title he said 'Musings is a good word!'

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Mick Colman

 Mick Coleman wrote Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs  as a poem, which was then turned into a song, and reached number one in the charts in March 1978.

 

This anthology brings together a selection of Mick's other poems, written over a lifetime​

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MATCHSTALK MEN AND MATCHSTALK CATS AND DOGS

For years many friends and family have been encouraging me to have my poems published but I had no idea how to go about this, so all my creative writing, including children’s stories, tv comedy scripts, songs, novels, short stories and all the poems were stored in shoe boxes under my bed. As fate had it, 35 years after much of the above had been written, I happened to meet someone who, not only suggested I have one of the children’s books, the poems and some of the novels published, but also offered to take on this project for me. I hope you will enjoy the result.

 

I began writing poems about lots of subjects I experienced as a child and still continue to do to this very day. The poems in this first volume go back to my childhood and through to the present day. All my poems reflect the emotions that made me happy, sad or angry. This was my only way of releasing my feelings and putting things to bed so to speak.

 

Looking back at the assortment of poems included in this volume, they still connect with me and bring back memories and I’m hoping this book will also resonate with, and please, you, the reader.

 

Most of the poems are autobiographical, dating back to the early sixties. Serviettes, beer mats and cigarette packets were useful stationery in those days as I never knew when or where I would be inspired to jot down more poetry or another song.

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Martin Gittins

Martin Gittins is a retired Deputy Headteacher and he has been writing, and latterly publishing, books for about 30 years.

The first publication was written in conjunction with the Crumpsall Local History Study Group, of which he was the tutor during the mid 1980s. and described a circular walk from Crumpsall Green. 30 years later, following his retirement, he completed the set of walks 'From The Green' and there are now 6 booklets in the series.

In  2006 he wrote the history of St Chad's Church, Cheetham, the Catholic mother church of Manchester.

This was followed shortly afterwards by 'Mark Addy's Irwell' which described the exploits of Mark Addy, who is credited with having saved in excess of fifty souls from drowning in the River Irwell. Smedley, The Forgotten Suburb came next and then a series of larger, more detailed histories of Crumpsall, Cheetham Hill Road, Collyhurst &Harpurhey and Bury New Road. His first short novel, Spyridon's Seal was published in 2023 and his latest book 'Grass Skirts and Gurkhas' will be published in 2024.

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Lynn Walton

'have written poetry as a hobby from being 10 years old, when one of my poems was published in the Manchester Evening News. I have been published in several anthologies most notably Virago Press and I perform at open mics regularly. Some of my poems can still be seen on YouTube particularly those from “Evidently Salford”. Other regular performances are at Malaga Drift in Eccles and on Salford City Radio. I write a wide variety of poetry, from risqué to humorous to more serious.

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Northern Goddess, Bar in a Bra and Poems from the Naughty Step

'I first encountered Lynn's poetry when she came to the 'All Things Considered Acoustic Session' at the Eagle Inn, Salford.

She proved very popular with the other performers as well as the audience and, during the lockdown she became a regular contributor to our online 'Zoom!' sessions.

I am delighted to present her works to a wider audience'.

 

Martin Gittins (Founder of Bedford Falls Publications)

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Jim Redikin

'A summer’s walk brought me to Stand Church graveyard and a monument bearing four sculptured heads. To my surprise the inscription proclaimed the deceased were “of Newton Heath”, an area of Manchester known to me.

 

The names combined on the monument matched those of a street and a passageway in Newton Heath, which have always held a fascination for me. Thirty years after leaving the area I was confronted with their origins.

It was this encounter which planted the seed for a retirement project. 

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With the help of the Archivist at Stand I was able to pursue my interest. I made discoveries about the family which started on the streets of Ancoats in the early 19th century. After moving to Newton Heath the story developed into an intergenerational family saga. 

In February 2021 I approached Martin Gittins for advice on achieving my ambition. His experience of the process was a comfort as I moved through each stage. The seed planted more than 15 years earlier, which grew in terms of research notes, finally yielded fruit this summer with the production of “It’s Not My Vault"'.  Jim Redikin.

'When Jim contacted me about his project I was delighted to be of help to him. I explained how I had worked with a printing company to produce my own books and talked him through the process of layout, registration with the National Library and provision of an ISBN so that his book met the requirements of book shops.

The final product is a fine story of research and determination to uncover the story behind a chance encounter  fifteen years ago'.

 

Martin Gittins. (Founder of Bedford Falls Publications)

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Joy Wassell Timms

'I’ve always written and loved writing since childhood. I had poems published in an anthology and a poetry magazine at 19. Since then I’ve continued to publish in magazines and read at Open mic sessions in pubs and cafes in Manchester and Stockport. I run a Writing group and Open mic events at Burnage Library where I’m Writer in Residence.' Joy Wassell Timms.

'Joy approached me following the success of The anthologies I had published for her friend,  Lynn Walton.  We worked together on the formatting and presentation of her poems and these two books are the result'.

 

Martin Gittins (Founder of Bedford Falls Publications

Allan Phillips

'These tales from my Collyhurst childhood in the 1950's started out as Facebook posts to a local group, around 2016. This was not a particularly happy time in my life, I had no idea how Facebook worked and had absolutely

no experience on a computer or keyboard, but somehow, I managed to post a story and it soon became apparent that people liked the stuff I did.

I was honestly overwhelmed by the support from the readers and I thank everyone who has shown so much

interest,  I can't put into words how much it has meant to me.

Thank you all.

I would like to dedicate the publications to two very special ladies in my life, both taken far too soon.

My precious late wife Jennifer who passed away in 2006 aged 56, and my dear long-suffering mam, Doris who passed away in 1973 aged just 51.

Two of the bravest ladies in my life. God rest their souls.'  Allan Phillips.

Now my tales have made it to print, and I must thank

Martin Gittins for that, because without the kind approach

from him and his technical know-how and skills,

this would never have happened, thank you Martin, you are a star.

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Allan's two books of poems and stories about 'This Collyhurst Kid' come as a set.

I first came across Allan’s writing in March 2021 when I was researching for a book about the history of Collyhurst.

I am always on the lookout for stories by local people about local subjects and had already published a number of small ‘memoirs’ by other North Manchester residents.

I knew Allan had quite a following on Facebook and so I offered to help him bring his stories to publication. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do'.

 

Martin Gittins. (Founder of Bedford Falls Publications)

Sarfraz M Malik - A.K.A. The Cheetham Poet

Born in Sialkot City in what was West Pakistan. Sialkot City is about 60 miles North of Lahore in the province of Punjab. Sialkot is famous for producing sporting and leather goods. Both of my granddads were instrumental in shaping my early life as my father was away from home. 
 

I attended St Mark’s Primary School in Cheetham and then Plant Hill High School in Blackley. Going on to the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (Cardiff). Completing a PGCE at University College Cardiff and an M.Sc at the University Of Salford. For over thirty-five years I have been a Fellow of the Institute of Analysts and Programmers.

Many in my community will know me as their teacher. A team mate, youth leader or as their Soccer/Cricket coach. Others a  Bhai Jaan (brother) to call upon in time of need. Many have attended or caught my performances live or online. Some years ago following a performance at the Cheetham Festival, the Chair of the Festival,   Mr Gareth Redston bestowed upon me the title of  “The Cheetham Poet”.  Mr Redston is also Chief Executive officer at the Manchester Jewish Museum. Modesty prevented me from using this title. However, when the word got out it became inevitable and now I wear it with great pride.

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Born in Sialkot, Made in Manchester

Born in Sialkot - Made in Manchester is a collection of poems written in an easy-to-read style. Each poem tells a story of an event, person, or a location. “My City” shows my feelings towards my home city, Manchester. A very sensitive “Eilidh” killed in the Manchester Arena blast. The Srebrenica trilogy displaying the deep, deep hurt felt through witness testimonies from the conflicts in Bosnia.

A number of family and friends are featured. Bringing through a culture reflecting my life experiences, religion, ethnicity and love for sport. Cheetham Hill in Manchester, a very diverse community plays a large part in my life. Hence, a number of pieces of work on people, locations and events of this very special place.

Although, hard hitting in some pieces. A pinch of humour is sprinkled across most of the stories. Lookout for the cricket references. Cricket is in my genes. Read cover to cover or dip in at random.

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Wilf Veevers

Wilf was born Salford 1960. He had a fantastic childhood growing up with 6 brothers and sisters and a fantastic mam and dad.

He always had a big interest in Salford history and local poetry so combined the two.

Wilf had wanted to do write this book for some years but now in 'retirement' he managed to find a bit more time after almost 44 years in the same job.

Can I Paint Your Bin Wid, Mister?

' You can’t write a book of memories without being around people who created those memories for you. This book is dedicated to all the people who spent their time in the same streets as I did, and shared the same early years as me. Some of those people have stayed in Salford and some have found themselves scattered around the country and even on the other side of the world. Yet, most of the very same people, near and far, are still in touch today, all with a common bond, Salford. Those no longer around who were part of, and helped shape our lives in those early years, God bless you all, especially my Mam and Dad.' Wilf Veevers 2024

My first contact with Wilf was a short message that simply said 'Are you the person that prints books?' Whilst not presuming to be the only 'person' to fit that description, I figured that the enquiry came as a result of Wilf seeing one of my posts on Facebook pages, commenting on books by other authors. It seemed that my subtle advertising was beginning to reap rewards.

It didn't take long to make contact with Wilf, discuss his ambitions and come to an arrangement to publish his fist book - a collection of reminiscences and poems about his Salford childhood.

In it, Wilf conjures up a childhood that will be familiar to thousands of people of a similar age who grew up in Salford, Manchester or, indeed, any large, industrial city in the 1960s and 1970s.

Martin Gittins (Founder of Bedford Falls Publications)

LIFE EVERLASTING (PUBLISHED POSTHUMOUSLY)

 

Bartley Smith, who lived on Tyson Street in Crumpsall, started his working life at the age of fourteen when he was taken on as an assistant to a carter in Crumpsall.

He soon progressed to being his own boss and his stories relate the varied experiences he had as a youth and a young man.

They were originally printed and distributed in a very basic form and I came across a copy somewhere I can't now recall.

Despite extensive enquiries, I could find nothing more about either Bartley, or who had produced the booklet of his stories. I tried to trace his descendants but without success.

Eventually I went ahead and re-published the work in its new format.

A CRUMPSALL CHILDHOOD (PUBLISHED POSTHUMOUSLY)

 

Eric Hargreaves was a keen and enthusiastic member of the Crumpsall Local History Study Group which ran for several years in the mid 1980s at Crumpsall Lane Junior School. Each week, Eric would come to the meetings with a sheaf of papers recounting events from his childhood, from 1902, when he moved to Crumpsall with his family and started to attend the school.

 

His memories were detailed and entertaining and, each week they would be typed up and distributed to the members.

I decided to publish his stories in a small booklet but, before I was able to do so, he was tragically killed in a traffic accident in front of the school. His writings remained untouched in a file.

Some thirty years later I rediscovered them and decided to publish them posthumously as part of a small project I had embarked upon to organise and utilise many years of accumulated information about Crumpsall.

 

The end result was 'A Crumpsall Childhood' which, although modest in size has gone on to prove a popular book, selling in excess of 100 copies.

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